Dressing for the Occasion and the Cold

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My daughter and I recently went to see the Broadway musical Annie at the National Theater in D.C. While theater used to be a time for folks to dress up, these days people wear most anything to shows. I choose to still look dressed up as I find going to the theater a celebration, and looking nice a sign of respect for the cast and staff. But this show was on a very cold evening and I needed to dress for the occasion and the cold.

Woman in a gray Quince cashmere turtleneck and matching pleated midi skirt. Over it she is wearing a hot pink wool below knee length coat. She has a pale lime green quilted Coach crossbody over it. On her feet are black knee high boots from Ros Hommerson. She is standing in front of a modern sculpture in the lobby of an office building.

Dressing for the Occasion and the Cold

Quince recently sent me a few more pieces from their collection to try out. Some were misses (the ponte pants fit like leggings on my strong legs), some were hits (the cotton fisherman sweater is quite nice). I did a Quince cashmere review before and had a meh experience, but with so many raves from members of the Wardrobe Oxygen community, I decided to order a Quince cashmere turtleneck and matching skirt.

Based on the fit of the XL Quince cashmere crewneck and the XL Quince silk skirt, I ordered the cashmere turtleneck in size L and the skirt in XL. I felt both were a perfect fit; the skirt was roomy enough that if my size fluctuated, it would still look great. I was pleased to see the pieces were the exact same color; too any times these days I order pieces with the same color name, even of the same fabric, and they are different colors.

Woman with brown curly hair wearing a gray cashmere turtleneck and matching cashmere midi skirt. She has a light green crossbody bag with a chain strap and is wearing black knee high heeled boots

I played with styling this combination. I tucked in the sweater and highlighted the waist with a gray leather wrap belt from ADA Collection. I really liked this, but didn't own the right shoes that would also keep me warm on a winter night. I really wanted to do my Ros Hommerson knee-high boots so I had wind protection and a comfortable shoe for walking in the city. I am able to fit insulated insoles in these boots for extra warmth.

I then took a black leather adjustable belt from Chico's that has a gold leopard as the buckle. It wasn't wide enough to cover the skirt's waistband, but I left the sweater untucked and put the belt over it and bloused it a bit. It was almost right, I think I would like it better if the belt had some elastic to it so it would grip to the sweater and not shift around. But the black belt with my black knee-high boots was a vibe.

woman in a gray cashmere turtleneck and matching pleated midi skirt. She has a hot pink wool Chesterfield coat over it and has her had on her hip.

With my boots still on, I removed the belt and flipped the waistband under and loved the effect. It was simple and tasteful and looked really luxe. With wool tights and a Thermaskin layer under the sweater, it wasn't bulky but still felt warm and cozy. I tried my Beltaway trick but it was too short; the waistband flipped down when sitting but it wasn't a big deal to flip it up again. It also looked good just as-is.

Now, some women would style this with a pair of small gold earrings and a bit of lip color; I am not one of those women. I like color and statement and saw this soft gray as the perfect backdrop for some boldness.

Alison of Wardrobe Oxygen in the lobby of an office building standing in front of a white modern art sculpture. She is wearing a gray cashmere turtleneck and matching skirt. She has a yellowish green crossbody bag and a hot pink wool coat in her hand. She is walking towards the camera.

My husband got me these Swarovski hoops in “topaz” for Christmas, and I am obsessed. I loved the idea of the yellow with the gray. I've had this Coach bag for a while; I got it on Poshmark, and the color is one of my favorites. For those wanting similar, it's the “Madison” and I see a bunch on eBay. It's close enough to the color of the hoops that they look nice together. At the theater, if I am leaving my seat, I am likely going to have my purse, and as a crossbody, it's giving a pop of color and some shape definition.

Woman in a gray Quince cashmere turtleneck and matching pleated midi skirt. Over it she is wearing a hot pink wool below knee length coat. She has a pale lime green quilted Coach crossbody over it. On her feet are black knee high boots from Ros Hommerson. She is standing in front of a modern sculpture in the lobby of an office building.

And this coat. Oh, this coat is delicious. The color, the soft texture, it's so good. It's Ann Taylor, a size 16 petite, and a few sizes still in stock for less than $80 (originally $248). Ann Taylor is one of my favorite destinations for outerwear; I appreciate Ann carries petites over a size 10. I often see Ann Taylor coats on resale sites, so check there too!

In my pockets are blue leather cashmere-lined gloves. Since I parked in a garage below this building, I left my scarf and hat in the car. If it was colder, or a chance of precipitation, I would replace the wool coat with my long blue hooded puffer coat because function always trumps fashion when dressing for the occasion and the cold.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. What a great outfit for going out in winter! Last night I went out wearing various shades of grey and I wish I had read this first, because though I adore grey, you’ve reminded me that it is better with some color added!

  2. Today is Feb. 9th and Anne Taylor had only XSS, XS and S left in sizes for the Rich Pink Berry Chesterfield Coat. Typical! For those who say only XL are left in size ranges after weeks of availability–my experience is the opposite. Size XL is so often sold out first. Thank for sharing your outfit Alison.

    1. With the average woman in the US a size 16, I have no idea why straight size retailers don’t stock more larger sizes. THey ALWAYS sell out first. Even in the late ’90s/early Y2K when I wored in apparel our clearance racks were 99% the smallest sizes as the other sizes sold out before the new collection arrived.

  3. You look absolutely beautiful, comfortable, and warm. Special request: Can you make the font of this blog black rather than gray? I appreciate the larger font change, thanks, but it’s still gray, or else so thin it appears gray.

    1. What device are you looking at this on? I have boosted the font to 19pt and it is true black. The font for the headers is slim, but the body text is the same as my last blog. Let me know so I can tinker with it. Thank you!

  4. You look amazing, stylish and more than dressed to show respect for the special occasion evening and event! It is SO nice to see people “dress up” for the theater – going out to dinner, etc. You ROCK – from someone 70 who knows! Di

  5. You are stunning! As someone who’s been in the theatre for over 30 years – I appreciate you dressing up. Thank you.

  6. I love this coat and bag combo! And the earrings are a perfect compliment. As someone who also dresses for theatre (and spent the last 15 years in all kinds of them, on both sides), you nailed this!

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